Finding a voice…
Before family, before children, long before real life began, the written word charmed and seduced me.
What I didn’t realize way back then, however, was that the written word is a cruel and devious lover.
It doesn’t help that I was born into this world with one of those minds that never stops. I kid you not; there is no point in any day when I don’t have at least a dozen different things running around in my head like a gaggle of children hopped up on jellybeans. The big problem with that is that it’s not always easy to keep my thoughts organized or my attentions focused. In fact, it’s pretty much never easy.
The unfortunate result is six partially completed novels, two finished that are somewhat forced and have thus lost my love and attention, some five hundred or so thought-inspiring (if not completely pointless) poems and dozens of short stories about dozens of topics.
Of the aforementioned body of writing, only about 5% has ever been seen by eyes other then my own. I tend to be incredibly self-critical and shy away from sharing anything that I don’t feel is perfect. The problem with that is… well, I very rarely reach the point where I feel something has attained perfection. This is something I would very much like to work on as I move forward.
About this time last year I started working on something I then considered to be just a writing exercise.
It was the meshing of a few of my favourite topics; religion, Armageddon, the supernatural; that was intended to get my creative juices flowing and keep me ticking away at something that I found interesting without the pressure of possible future readers.
The project has since taken on a life of its own.
Some of the most amazingly loveable (and hateable) characters I have ever created started to draw themselves together from the ether. One idea gave birth to another and then another and then another until POW!!! Suddenly, I had this immensely deep, insanely complicated, eternally mutating mega-design.
So what could possibly be the problem with that?
The problem is that while I have been very clever this time around about keeping my thoughts organized; I have been keeping a binder full of basic character profiles, plot mapping and other important-to-the-story information; I seem to be having a very difficult time committing to a voice and tone for the story. I’ll write a few hundred pages (in one case just over 600 before I junked it) and then decide the tone isn’t quite right, at which point I will scrap it and start anew.
It’s more then a little frustrating at this point and if I wasn’t still obsessively going over every angle of my story pretty much constantly, I might be worried about losing the story.
I began writing this tale in first person. It felt like the right thing to do. At some point however, I started to feel like first person was limiting my story. With so many great characters in the mix, it seemed almost sinful to remain in the constant company of the main character. With that thought in mind, I put the original writing aside and started from scratch in third person. Unfortunately, after a few chapters of that I began to worry that the essential point of my story was being completely buried.
Since, I have continued to go back and forth, back and forth.
This morning I had an idea about writing the story from multiple view points while continuing on in the first person form. My question now is how enjoyable that might be to a future audience?
Personally, I haven’t read a novel presented in this way. At least not one I can recall. I’d be happy to receive suggestions about any that might be worth a read. Also, though I am not always well known for taking advice, I would love to hear any that one might be willing to offer up to me.
At any rate…
… good or bad, right or wrong, enlightening or completely devoid of sense… thanks for stopping by my own private universe.